Arcade machines -- original or homebrew. Keep emulation topics in the emulation category
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Ziggy587
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Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by Ziggy587 Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:01 pm

I really probably shouldn't get an MVS, but I noticed that 1 slot motherboards aren't as expensive as I thought they would have gotten by now.

What should I know about MVS motherboards? I'm basically a newb with them. Are there many different revisions? Are there some that I should stay away from? Are there any known things I should look out for when shopping for an MVS motherboard?

From what I understand, they're just JAMMA boards. I already have a makeshift Supergun setup that I cobbled together to test another JAMMA board that I got, so I'm assuming that should work fine with an MVS board. Right? Anything to look out for in this department?

Really, I need to collect for another console like I need a hole in the head. And an expensive one, at that. Even a flash cart for the MVS is super expensive. But I've noticed those 161-in-1 carts from China, which aren't too pricey. Are there any risks using these? I know that some repro carts are very cheaply made, and some do risky things like using new 3v parts incorrectly with the old 5v hardware, which may cause damage to the system after repeated use. Is there anything like that wrong with them? Or are they safe to use? Basically, I'd be interested if I could get an MVS board and one of these carts for cheap. But if I had to collect expensive MVS carts or buy that expensive flash cart, I'd no longer be interested.
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Re: Give me a crash course on the Neo Geo MVS.

by Ziggy587 Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:55 am

Some more thoughts...

I see a bunch of "MVS motherboards" on eBay from China that are super cheap, but I can't tell what they are. The pictures show what appears to be a small MVS mainboard, but with a plastic cover on it so I can't tell what it is exactly. The description isn't a big help because it's in bad English.

For example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/312983708528?h ... SwkYxg3A2q

What are these things? For the price, I'm skeptical on their legitimacy.

If I get an MVS, do I need to get a memory card for it like the AES has?

What about a MiSTer? The cost to set up a MiSTer would be in the same ballpark as what I'm looking at for the MVS setup, or way less if I need to get an MVS flash cart. From what I've seen on YouTube, the NeoGeo core is absolutely excellent. Also, the MiSTer is gonna be way smaller than an MVS setup. As well as the fact that the MiSTer can do so much more. Would I be crazy to get an MVS over a MiSTer?
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Re: Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:42 am

Do you already have an AES? I play MVS games on an AES with a converter.
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Re: Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by Ziggy587 Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:57 am

Nope, I currently have no NeoGeo hardware. I use to have a NeoGeo CD some years back, but got rid of it.
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Re: Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by sabrage Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:19 am

I'm not aware of any fake motherboards floating around. Here's a reference for the different PCB types: http://web.archive.org/web/201603160551 ... ompare.htm

The 161-in-1's seem to be fairly reliable, just know that there's a ton of King of Fighters hacks and some notable omissions like Twinkle Star Sprites and Magician Lord. Staples like Samurai Shodown and KOF can be had fairly cheap in cart form if you hunt around since there's tons of carts floating around in Mexico and China, but even those are getting to be $40-50 a pop.

The memory cards allow you to save and continue your progress in addition to high scores but I wouldn't call them necessary. There's recent hardware clones with expanded memory and cheaper price tags.

The whole FPGA thing turned out to be more of a money and time sink than I bargained for, but so did fixing up a Big Red 4-slot. I would recommend going with a site like https://misteraddons.com/ for parts and enclosures unless poor tolerances from the Chinese clone distributors sounds like fun.
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Re: Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:11 pm

Thanks for the info!

Right, I saw that there's a lot of duplicates on that multi carts. I know I'm not getting the full library with it, but I took a quick look and my faves or at least there. And the cheap price tag sure beats what a flash cart costs by several hundred dollars! I saw that some MVS carts are cheap, including one of my favorites, but I definitely don't want to start collecting them when the CHEAPEST games are $50 LOL.

So do those Chinese boards look legit? It's hard to tell, being that it's FROM China and the auction title is a little wonky. There's a few of them on eBay, all from China, and all are those smaller sized boards. But they all say something like "multi games" in the title, which puts me off. And some of them look like stock photos. They're the cheapest MVS boards on eBay though.

How does this one look, for example? https://www.ebay.com/itm/283701811048?h ... SwyGpd6qJ7

Yes, the MiSTer build with everything you would want isn't very cheap. I was very intrigued with it when it was first gaining traction, but figured I'd wait to see how the cores matured. But every time I check to see how well X system runs, it seems to run near perfectly. If those cheap MVS boards from China are legit, a MiSTer set up would actually cost me MORE than an MVS set up LOL. But with the MiSTer, I can of course do more than just Neo Geo. I'm kind of torn at the moment which route I should take.
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Re: Questions about the Neo Geo MVS

by sabrage Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:52 am

Ziggy587 wrote:Thanks for the info!

Right, I saw that there's a lot of duplicates on that multi carts. I know I'm not getting the full library with it, but I took a quick look and my faves or at least there. And the cheap price tag sure beats what a flash cart costs by several hundred dollars! I saw that some MVS carts are cheap, including one of my favorites, but I definitely don't want to start collecting them when the CHEAPEST games are $50 LOL.

Yeah, welcome to SNK collecting. There's a couple duds on the multi-cart ( The Last Blade 2 is tempermental and Alpha Mission 3 straight-up doesn't work) and the abundance of hacks comes down to shared data between the various titles saving space. I'm guessing you've already emulated most of these titles and have some sort of motivation for buying into something this inherently hostile besides the (admittedly strong) object fetish. Those prices don't even include serialized boxes, marquees, shockboxes, flyers and inserts that constitute the deep end of a "complete" collection. I struggle to justify it myself, but they also hold their value well and while the community likes to keep it "in the family," so to speak, they're clearly only going to get more expensive with the "popular retro Youtuber" niche gobbling up the market. It's not even like the Saturn, where emulation is a bit of a crapshoot. Regardless it's pretty much the focus of my collecting these days.
So do those Chinese boards look legit? It's hard to tell, being that it's FROM China and the auction title is a little wonky. There's a few of them on eBay, all from China, and all are those smaller sized boards. But they all say something like "multi games" in the title, which puts me off. And some of them look like stock photos. They're the cheapest MVS boards on eBay though.

How does this one look, for example? https://www.ebay.com/itm/283701811048?h ... SwyGpd6qJ7

Looks like an MV-1B, which has a soldered BIOS chip. I think the concern is more towards bootleg carts, as that's largely where the market is. King of Fighters was basically the equivalent cultural phenomenon that Street Fighter was in the West in specifically Latin America and China, so that's where a lot of these boards are coming from and there's an attendant market for pirate carts there as a result. Not that there might not be duds, but you should be prepared to do some soldering and clean-up anyway if you're getting into arcade collecting. Just note that one-slots won't have stereo output out of the box, and you'll probably want a socketed BIOS chip to upgrade to UniBIOS if you plan on importing (and, you probably should.) You can save a little on ebay prices by poking around AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?ca ... hText=mvs+
But for real piece of mind you might just have to pay extra. Also note that you'll need an adapter to use any of the multi-slot boards with a JAMMA harness (I think it's just one or two pins swapped around.)
Yes, the MiSTer build with everything you would want isn't very cheap. I was very intrigued with it when it was first gaining traction, but figured I'd wait to see how the cores matured. But every time I check to see how well X system runs, it seems to run near perfectly. If those cheap MVS boards from China are legit, a MiSTer set up would actually cost me MORE than an MVS set up LOL. But with the MiSTer, I can of course do more than just Neo Geo. I'm kind of torn at the moment which route I should take.

I had an interest in FPGA's, embedded systems in general, I was disappointed by the RasPi3's ability to emulate, and my computer can't output RGB. Keep in mind that Intel already sells the DE-10 at a loss to encourage research, and the price has jumped about $30 on those in the last year. There's probably not a suitable replacement coming in the near future.

The I/O board and case I ordered from AliExpress had serious problems fitting together (pins too long, case too small) and I ended up ordering a second I/O from MisterAddons. It's probably nothing you can't fix with some sidecutters, but (and contra the cheap MVS boards) for the price you might as well spend a few extra bucks to make sure you're getting quality.
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